- Hong Kong announced the closure of its entire school system after students and parents were found among a cluster of new coronavirus cases.
- 66 new cases were found between Thursday and Friday, prompting the Education Bureau to shut some 900 schools from Monday.
- It is a stark contrast to the US, which on Thursday recorded its highest-ever number of cases across the country, more than 65,000.
- Even adjusting for their respective populations, US infections are rampant in comparison to Hong Kong.
- Nonetheless, President Donald Trump is pushing for schools to reopen quickly, threatening to cut funding to those which do not.
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Hong Kong announced the closure of its entire school system after a cluster of new cases — a stark contrast to the situation in the US, where President Donald Trump is pushing for 57 million children to return to school even as the outbreak there grows faster than ever.
In Hong Kong, the closure announcement came after students and parents appeared amongst 66 new infections identified on Thursday and Friday, the Education Bureau said on Friday, according to Reuters.
Around 900 primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong first shut on January 24 and reopened on May 27.
The reaction is indicative of how seriously Hong Kong is still taking the pandemic, and is a far cry from the mindset in the White House.
Trump is advocating to reopen US schools at a time when the record for the daily number of new cases has been broken six times in the last 10 days.
On Thursday, a record 59,880 new cases were reported, according to a The New York Times database, bringing the total to 3.1 million.
That makes the US the world’s worst-affected country, with more than 133,000 total deaths.
Hong Kong is far smaller than the US — with a population of 7.5 million compared to 330 million. But even adjusted for their populations, there were 1,761 times more new infections per capita in the US and Hong Kong on Thursday.
Trump tweeted Friday that online lessons were substandard, and that reopening was essential to improving teaching.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
The president had tweeted on Wednesday that schools should open because several countries in Europe had done so with no apparent issues.
“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS,” he said.
All of the countries opened schools while they were ahead of the US in their virus cycle, and also underwent less severe outbreaks.